Friday, April 18, 2014

giveaway winner

Congratulations to Melanie, 
of The French Cottage for winning the Toiles du Soleil bag!

Thanks for entering everyone.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

bringing foliage in

The home we are renting does not have gardens, just nice basic landscaping. There are a few late blooming azaleas which have not opened yet and some oleanders that were frost damaged and are coming back that will hopefully give us summer color. 

So to add life to the inside of the house, I have been cutting foliage from the yard. 

I only brought 2 vases here, the rest are in storage. For some reason, a few wicker flasks were packed with husbands shoes


so I have been using them instead. The St Germain elderflower liquor is so good, we are going to try making different cocktails with it. The prettiest bottle.

Chocolate bowl is getting low, need to get some easter chocolates.

This carafe belongs to a set of glasses but I needed something tall to support the palmetto fronds.

We have been visiting nurseries, excited to see the different flowering plants that can be grown in the South but without a yard of our own,  have to be patient until the house is built.

When you need a little freshness in your rooms,
do you just clip a little sprig here and there too?

One more thing...
many azaleas are starting to fade so here are a few I captured the other day, the pinks are near our lot and the multicolored were in a churchyard next to the grocery....

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


It is raining cats and dogs all day here, perfect day to stay home and cook. I looked at the almost empty fridge and eggs were pretty much it so deviled eggs and egg salad are on the menu over here. I took a few shots with my phone, which takes much more grainy photos than my last iPhone for some reason, the one I dropped into Lake Chautaqua last summer ;o( .

 I make the simplest deviled eggs with curry and lemon. The men in our family eat them immediately. Today I went heavy on the lemon juice and curry for my husband, he loves bold flavors. All I do is throw all these ingredients into the Cuisinart and pulse. I allowed it to remain a bit lumpy and runny today but smooth and thick is fine too and nicer for company of course. I add the mayo, lemon juice and curry to taste, don't really measure. I usually use the entire lemon and the  curry powder is bought in bulk from the Indian grocery. Hopefully Savannah or Charleston have one, Beaufort certainly doesn't. We need some fennel for the morning chai husband makes so will have to research.

Guests often mention they don't like curry but after tasting the eggs, they like them and eat several. The combination of lemon and curry are sharp and bold and then the mayo balances it and adds creaminess.

Deviled  eggs with curry and lemon
~hard boiled eggs
~light Hellman mayonnaise
~lemon squeezed
~ curry powder 
(freshest is from Indian grocery and also much less expensive)
~salt and pepper
~green onions, parsley and/or dill can be blended into mix or used as garnish

Have you seen this blogger's naturally dyed eggs on Pinterest? 
I think they are so beautiful.

And Martha's team came up with this pretty tabletop idea with eggs, combining moss covered styrofoam eggs, quince or crabapple stems and several sizes of brown eggs.

Martha Stewart

Are eggs a favorite food in your house?

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 14, 2014

white azaleas

The beautiful cemetery next to the parish church of St Helena in downtown Beaufort is worth a visit, especially in April when the white azaleas planted at all four gated entrances are in bloom. We came upon them the other day on a bike ride. 


I want to thank
 those who have expressed condolences
to me about losing our dog Andy. It is so nice to know that there are other dog lovers  who understand. I centered my days around long walks with him as our kids grew older and more independent and am feeling lost without him. My husband feels the same way. After several extremely sad days last week,  I decided I needed to force a change and that is why I am blogging more and making some other changes in our new life here as well. I am thankful that it is spring, we are enjoying the rebirth of nature.

Don't forget to enter the Les Toiles du Soleil bag giveaway,  just go here and comment, drawing will be Friday,  April 18.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 11, 2014

my first giveaway

Hi everyone!

I am excited to offer my first giveaway.

I like to keep special little presents on hand for last minute gift giving. I recently let my stash dwindle as we were preparing to move so I need to replenish. Usually Etsy is my go-to source but One Kings Lane is now another good one. I spotted these fun striped canvas bags made in France by Les Toiles du Soleil and ordered a few.

 I am using one to store my small camera, its cord and charger. See it there on the table? We stopped for a drink after our bike ride yesterday. It is made of canvas and the colors are vibrant and fun.

OKL is offering them right now for $21 as well as several other beautiful Les Toiles items here. But if time runs out on the sale, they are always available on Les Toiles du Soleil's NYC store website for $26 here.

 To win this cute bag, please leave a comment to tell me if you love French things as much as I do by April 18th.  I will let husband blindly choose the winner or use one of those random drawing apps. Please only enter if you are a regular reader of the blog or the content of this blog is of interest to you i.e you enjoy reading about gardening, nature, travel, food, etc.

Bon chance everyone!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

our future neighborhood and Andy

Hi everyone! 

This is a long post for me...warning.

I remembered my camera when we were in our new neighborhood last night. The light conditions were not favorable but here are a few shots of our street and lot.

Fresh ferns had popped up since we visited the other day. Wish there was a way to save them but they will undoubtedly be crushed when construction starts. The lot is long and narrow. The house on the left was just finished. They chose yellow siding, at least it is a happy color. We will go with a cream most probably.

 All the trees are flagged for the survey. We will lose all the oaks in the center and try to keep those on the perimeter. 

This is the view towards the marsh from the lot. The limbs on the left are oaks that will remain and obscure part of the view which is fine with us. They will provide shade in the hot summer and differentiate our lot from the others that do not have trees on their frontage like ours does. So our front garden will have more shade, we prefer that for the double porches.

View towards the neighbors. The clump of oaks to the right of husband will remain.

Our lot is between the two houses here.

Husband checking out the view which we love! The lawn is protected park space but rarely do you see it being used except at sunset. There are swings to relax and enjoy. Most residents stroll over or ride bikes and the older residents tend to bring their cocktail or wine and arrive on golf carts, departing the moment the sun sets. So the street is very quiet. We feel blessed that we will be able to see the sun set from the house.

This view says South Carolina!

Looking down the street in the other direction. Park on the left.

 This farmhouse styled home is just down the street. It sits on a small pond on a beautiful lot.

Looking back towards our end of the street. You can see the beautiful garage apartment with a screened porch in the rear of the house.

Across the small pond is the large neighborhood pond. There were two people fishing yesterday. One fellow was fly fishing and an older lady had parked her bike and was fishing all by herself which I thought was awesome.

Wish the sky was blue, these shots would have been prettier.

The fly fisherman is on the left, you can barely see his blue shirt.

We will love walking and biking our neighborhood.

We happened upon a Red Buckeye or Aesculus Pavia in a naturalized area next to the pond. The stems are pink.

Moving away from the pond towards the rest of the neighborhood. You can see that husband is alone... 

We lost our sweetheart Andy last weekend. He deteriorated very quickly. Appearing normal on Wednesday, he slowed down a bit on Thursday but Friday morning, he suddenly could not walk and did not respond to strong pain relief. He could not lie on his side, the lump increased in size as the day went on and he stayed in one position most of the day. Friday night he stayed in a frog position all night and every time I checked on him, he was awake. The pain relievers should have allowed him to sleep but had no effect. 

Taken two weeks ago.

Our soft lovely boy was not going to suffer, he went to heaven on Saturday. We never saw him ill until the last two days of his life! A blessing he went so quickly but a shock to us. He seemed to be so happy and had not lost his appetite or his handsome body, except the stupid hump between his shoulders that haunted us. Needless to say, we feel very lonely without him. Trying to figure out how to live without him right now. I know we will adjust but right now it feels very sudden even though of course we knew what was coming. Losing a pet never gets easier, no matter how many you have said goodbye to.

This photo of Andy was taken in our last house two summers ago after a bath and trim.  A typical stance, he is watching me cook but checking out the black squirrels that were always under our bird feeders. We also had chipmunks that lived around our patio and scampered around us as we sat outside. They would run right by him but he accepted them as he did all the frogs on the edge of the pond. Squirrels were another matter though and he was always chasing them up the maple trees. He only caught one once and it was not pretty.


So that is all for now. 
Having more free time now that I no longer have children at home, no longer have to care for a  big house and yard or have a big dog to take long walks with everyday, I am going to start blogging more often. I will share some gift ideas as my go-to last minute gift drawer has depleted and need to find  some nice things to replenish  it with. May even do my first giveaway with some local goods from the Low Country. So come back soon!

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 31, 2014

morning walk in Beaufort

Hi everyone!

Popping in with some photos from our walk in town yesterday.....

How about this Federal beauty on the corner of Washington and Carteret streets? It is the Old Barnwell house, also referred to as the Barnwell-Gough house,  built in 1789. You can read more about its occupant Elizabeth Gough and the history of the home here.

You do not cut oak trees in the Low Country! Just let them do their thing and move around them. 

This home also has an adorable cottage in the back yard that can be rented here.  This photo was taken by the owner, found on VRBO. He loves dogs, has  two golden retrievers and allows dog guests.

A typical street in downtown Beaufort.

A beautiful courtyard was behind the walls but I did not want to get too close for the sake of their privacy.

The azaleas are in bloom, lots of  reds, pinks and corals. The redbuds also have been beautiful this spring.

When an oak touches the ground, it is called an Angel Oak. There is a spectacular one at the Moorlands house on Federal Street.

Andy being pulled by husband who was trying to get to of the shot. Azaleas behind a jasmine covered fence. There is the stupid hump on his back that we wish would just disappear. Still the same Andy, doing well, no slow down. He made friends yesterday as usual. He veers towards people as we walk, making eye contact with everyone. A very social boy, most people respond favorably!

The Beaufort River view from Moorlands.

This beauty on Federal Street was built by James Rhett in 1884. You can see the Haint blue painted porch ceiling which is very common in the Low Country.

The dogwoods are starting to open. These appear to be dancing on heavy Spanish Moss.

The tourist buggies are getting busier. I recommend doing this as you first arrive to Beaufort. Some drivers are better than others and give much more detail.

Goodbye for now, I am going to take some shots of our little rental home and will post soon. Trying to recatch the blogging bug. I am so out of the habit and distracted by all the new discoveries and house planning that I forget to sit down and post. It is fun to share though and I am hoping to get inspired to post more.

Andy on the road. I love this shot, a happy dog.

Thanks for visiting!